Shooting at Fort Hood leaves 4 dead, 16 wounded
Fort Hood in Texas is huge; there are 41,000 troops stationed there, and 10,000 plus civilians working on that base. This deadly shooting rampage shut it down. It all began mid-afternoon San Diego time on Wednesday.
“The alarm started sounding and the gates went up stopping traffic in it's place,” said an eye-witness.
Another shooting at Fort Hood. The place that was on lockdown – the order was to shelter in place. There was a man firing a gun and there were multiple injuries. One man describes what he saw just moments after shots rang out:
“They are actually escorting a group of soldiers out of a building now at gun point. Everyone is coming out with their hands in the air, required to drop down to their knees – mass soldiers, men, women and children.”
At first, they didn't know if there was one gunman or two. President Obama spoke about the shooting from Chicago where he was fund-raising:
“Many of the people there had been through multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan; they serve with valor, they serve with distinction, and when they are at their home base, the need to feel safe.”
We later learned the gunman was himself an Iraq veteran. The base commander said he has a wife and children; media sources, quoting officials at the Pentagon, identify his as army specialist Ivan Lopez. Lieutenant General Mark Milley says he served in Iraq in 2011, and was taking medication for depression and anxiety while being evaluated for PTSD. The general says it's not clear about a motive.
“I'm not ruling out terrorism, all I'm saying is there's no indication of it at this time.”
The general says the shooter began firing off rounds with a .45 caliber semi-automatic in a medical building, then hopped in his car and traveled to another nearby building still shooting. He says a military cop engaged him in a firefight, but he put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
This is all an eerie reminder. In 2009, army psychiatrist Nidal Hisan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing 13 people and injuring dozens. A medical update confirms 16 people wounded, mostly with gun shot wounds. The general says some have cuts from broken glass and one was injured trying to get away from the gunman by jumping a fence. At a civilian hospital near the base, officials say they have 7 men and a woman patient – 3 in critical condition – and all of them are spending the night in intensive care. The base is no longer on lockdown and Thursday hopefully will bring some answers to many questions about how this happened and why.